And the result was downright rare.
Garland hit the first homer by a Chicago White Sox pitcher in 35 years Sunday, the best of his many good moments in an 8-1 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.
Garland (6-3) had a lot of good moments on the mound, allowing only four singles while pitching into the ninth inning. Naturally, those were overshadowed by one swing.
“We were all laughing,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “He talks a lot of trash about hitting.”
His two-run shot in the eighth off reliever Esteban Yan was his first career homer and the first by a White Sox pitcher since Steve Kealey's on Sept. 6, 1971, against Minnesota - two years before the AL adopted the designated hitter.
“It shocked me more than anything,” said Garland, who had only two career hits in interleague play before the homer.
The way the White Sox are playing these days, nothing shocks their opponents. They've won 10 of 13, moving a season-high 19 games over .500 while keeping the pressure on AL Central-leading Detroit.
“Those guys don't have any holes over there,” Reds manager Jerry Narron marveled. “They won the World Series last year, and they're playing better than they did a year ago. After they've won it, they believe in themselves.”
In truth, the White Sox can win any which way.
Alex Cintron singled home the go-ahead run, and Rob Mackowiak matched his career high with four singles as the bottom of Chicago's formidable lineup came through early. Garland and Jermaine Dye homered as the White Sox pulled away to yet another win over Cincinnati.